Two Briarwood Academy seniors have been named prestigious National Merit Scholarship semi-finalists while another has been named a Commended Scholar.
Briarwood senior Amy McGee and Lauren Brown, a Briarwood participant in the joint enrollment program for high school seniors at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, represent less than one percent of U. S. high school seniors. They are among 16,000 National Merit semi-finalists named nation-wide from the more than 1.3 million US high school students qualifying. Qualifying is based on test scores made on the PSAT/NMSQT (Pre-Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.) The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state's percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.
Senior Joseph Baldwin is being recognized for exceptional academic progress by being named a Commended Scholar. Commended Scholars, who do not advance further in the competition, place among the top five percent in the more than one million students who entered the competition by taking the PSAT/NMSQT.
To become finalists, Miss McGee and Miss Brown must complete high school with an outstanding academic record, be endorsed and recommended by the school principal, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student's earlier qualifying test performance. The semifinalist must also submit a detailed scholarship application, which includes the student's self-descriptive essay and information about the Semifinalist's participation and leadership in school and community activities.
In all, approximately 15,000 semifinalists will become finalists and eligible for the approximately 8250 National Merit based scholarship awards, which will be presented for 2006. Scholarship winners will be announced beginning in April and concluding in July.
Miss McGee, the daughter of Roy and Karen McGee of Lincolnton and the granddaughter of DeLeon and Mary Denard of Washington, has attended Briarwood since kindergarten.
Amy is the recipient of numerous academic honors. She has been recognized for outstanding academic achievement by the University of Georgia, Presbyterian College, Wofford College, and Erskine College. She is a member of the National Honor Society and served as a Junior Usher for last year's graduating class.
Amy has served as class president since the ninth grade.
She is an active student at Briarwood, participating in cheerleading, twirling and chorus.
A captain of this year's football and basketball cheerleading squad, she has been selected as a UCA All Star cheerleader. She is a also a member of the cheerleading competition team and was a member of last year's competition cheerleading team, which placed first in the Heart of Georgia competition.
Amy, who began twirling in kindergarten, is a co-captain of this year's squad.
She participated in the Briarwood Chorus from the ninth through the eleventh grades as a member of the cast of three musicals and one one-act play.
This year she is a co-editor of the annual, The Buccaneer.
Amy attends Greenwood Baptist Church of Lincoln County.
Miss Brown, who began attending Briarwood in the ninth grade, will graduate with her class this spring. She is currently attending Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville as a participant in the joint enrollment program for high school seniors. She was the top entering freshman at GC&SU this past August.
Although attending GC&SU, Lauren is still serving on the Watson-Brown Foundation Junior Board and is serving as the president of the Board. She is also a Watson-Brown Merit Scholar.
At GC&SU, she was selected to serve the school as a Student Ambassador. She is also a member of the College Republicans, the Women in Chemistry Alliance, and the Eta Sigma Alpha Honor Society. She is a staff photographer for the GC&SU annual, The Colonnade.
She is a two-time GISA AA state champion in Girls Extemporaneous Speaking.
Lauren served as a member of The Augusta Chronicle Xtreme Board, also.
At Briarwood, Lauren served last year's graduating class as Junior Marshall. She played softball and basketball for the Lady Bucs and was also a member of the annual staff.
Lauren is the daughter of Drs. Edward and Debbbie Pinson of Thomson, and the granddaughter of Larry and Ann Pinson of Double Branches. She is a member of the First Baptist Church of Thomson.
Mr. Baldwin, the son of Brian and Joann Baldwin and the grandson of Joe and Anne Charping, all of Washington, is a member of the National Honor Society and served last year's Senior Class as a Junior Usher.
He is vice-president of the Senior Class.
Mr. Baldwin has reaped innumerable awards in the fields of voice and performance in music.
Last summer, Mr. Baldwin was one of only 28 vocalists selected from among a field of international applicants selected to participate in a four week program in advanced opera/vocal study at the Interlochen (Michigan) Arts Camp, the world's premier summer arts program for aspiring artists in grades three through 12.
He was selected to and participated in the 2004 Georgia Governor's Honors Program in vocal/choral performance.
He is a two-time winner of GISA AA state competition in Piano and was a member of the AA state champion Quartet in 2004. He has received numerous first place awards in GISA Region 1AA literary competition in the categories of oral interpretation, piano, and boy's solo.
He received the Best Actor award in GISA AA one-act play state competition last year.
In 2004, he performed solo on the hand bells at the annual legislative dinner of the Georgia General Assembly by invitation of Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue.
Mr. Baldwin has performed numerous leading and supporting roles in productions by the Briarwood Academy Chorus and the Washington Little Theater Company.
He is a member of the Washington Little Theater Company Board of Directors and the Watson-Brown Foundation Junior Board of Trustees of Thomson.